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Ric Flair vows never to return to WWE

Even after he dies, the Nature Boy wants Tony Khan and AEW to celebrate his legacy — not the company that twice put him in their Hall of Fame.

Since Dark Side of the Ring’s episode on “The Plane Ride From Hell” reframed many tales of his exploits as sexual harassment, Ric Flair has been more desperate for attention than ever.

From interjected himself into his daughter Charlotte’s worked shoot Survivor Series feud with Becky Lynch, to openly asking AEW to book him to work with CM Punk, the Nature Boy has been angling for headlines — even as he’s lost one sponsorship deal, and the interest of many fans in ever seeing him on a wrestling show again.

A recurring theme for Flair over the past couple weeks has been a grudge against WWE. He negotiated his release from the company earlier this year, in a move he described as a mutual parting of the ways. But he’s since accused the company of erasing his legacy...

... and on the second episode of “tell all” podcast, Wooooo Nation UNCENSORED, he went in depth on what his resentment against WWE is and isn’t.

The main issue seems to be that the company replaced him and his signature “Woo” in the opening montage of its shows, replacing him with Ultimate Warrior. It’s a move Flair blames on WWE President Nick Khan, who he claims has no respect:

“If you take me off of the opening of the show, and take the ‘Woo’ — which I own, thank God, cause they’ll never get it back — and replace me with The Ultimate Warrior, a guy that sued the company, held them up for money. I guess the next thing they’re gonna do with me, is make a DVD saying, having so many people saying how bad I was like they did with The Warrior, then they brought him back and put him in the Hall of Fame. That ain’t gonna work for me. One and done.

“And, very openly, I text Vince, ‘No worries. But you know, you’re not gonna do — you’re not gonna bring me back.’ Not they want me by any means. But I couldn’t ever work for Nick Khan in my entire life. Vince McMahon, I could work for. But Nick Khan, who’s the guy that orchestrated taking me off the show. I’ve got my facts together, orchestrated taking the ‘Woo’ off — no. Never in a million years... big difference between Tony Khan and — Tony Khan respects me. He has, as does Vince. Nick Khan has none. I talk to Vince now. I got no problems with Vince. He just knows I won’t come back.”

Flair explained why he doesn’t blame McMahon, saying WWE is “not just a wrestling company. They’re Disney. I mean, they do everything. They make movies. I mean, he’s got so much to oversee. Because he’s so hands-on, he still can’t be totally — he still can’t totally watch over everything.”

He would work for AEW, although he admits he hasn’t had any talks about that with their President:

“No, there are no discussions [with AEW] at all. I mean, I told Vince McMahon, and my word is pretty much my bond, unless they do something really stupid to me that I would never ever go to work for the competition. Now, they’ve done some really stupid stuff. So that door is open. But I’m certainly not — I haven’t. I have not talked to Tony, I haven’t heard a word from them. I watch all the shows, appreciate the athletes, and the people that are involved in it. But I am not actively in discussion with anybody. But I will never — yes, I would go to work for Tony. God, I will never go back to WWE.”

Another example of the “stupid stuff” he accuses WWE of is attempting to force him to sign over his intellectual property while it appeared he could die back in 2017. It’s why he says that even when his life is over, he wants AEW to be the ones to honor him:

“I’m 72, I could be dead tomorrow. The last thing I want is for them to make a package on me ever. I’ll leave all of that to Tony Khan.”

He also relitigates his issues with Lynch & WWE using the phrase “The Man”, and says the decision to have Becky beat Charlotte last Sunday was choosing “to sell merchandise rather than to sell athleticism.”

It’s... a lot, and — in my opinion at least — it’s pretty sad. But he’s one of the most prominent figures in the history of the sport/art form, and remarks like this will continue to be news.

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